The Reverse Model T

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Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, touts his latest electric car as the second coming of the Model T – an odd comparison given the Model 3 is everything the T was not.

Henry Ford’s idea was to make cars that emphasized utility and practicality; that were basic and which could be stamped out (literally) in quantity at low cost, so that almost anyone could afford to buy one. Prior to the T, cars were largely hand-built, ornate and very expensive.

Consequently, almost no one could afford one except the very affluent. They were also delicate and finicky and so were basically toys. The T, in contrast, was rugged and durable; it was designed to be used on unpaved roads and to be fixable “in the field” (literally) with almost no tools and very little mechanical knowledge.

The first production model T (1909) listed for $825 – a fraction of the cost of other cars. By 1926, a T listed for just $265, the equivalent of about $3,574 in today’s money and equivalent to about a third of the cost of the least expensive new car you can buy today.

Ford sold a lot of cars. And without any subsidies.

Musk’s concept is the antipodal opposite of Ford’s. His electric cars emphasize style and performance, technology and complexity.

As a result, they are very expensive.

And require massive subsidies.

His soon-to-be-available Model 3 will list for $35,000 to start  – the equivalent of $472,073 in 1926 dollars. It is not the latter-day reincarnation of the Model T. It is the electrified equivalent of a 1926 Bugatti Type 35 – which cost about the same in 1926 as a Tesla Model 3 costs today.   

1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix

The difference being that the government didn’t mandate production quotas for Bugatti Type 35s, nor subsidize their purchase.

As a result, very few Type 35s were built.

As ought to be the case with Teslas and electric cars generally. Because – like the Bugatti Type 35 – they are indulgences.There is no economic case to be made for them – at least, as currently constituted. Whether electric or not, spending $35,000 to get from A to B when one could spend half that sum to get there just the same is about something other than getting from A to B.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to get from A to B swaddled in heated leather seats, surrounded by all the latest amenities. Nor is there anything wrong with sexy bodywork and blistering speed.

But why should those things be subsidized?

Isn’t it even more obnoxious than witnessing an EBT card holder ahead of you at the supermarket checkout “buying” sushi and prime rib? He’s not merely being fed. He’s being fed well. Fed better than you – and on your dime.

It’s an affront.

But it’s also something else.

Leaving aside the moral question of government subsidies in principle, the subsidization of high-end/high-performance electric cars like the Tesla has diverted engineering resources away from what ought to be the focus of electric car development: making them cost less to own/operate than non-electric cars.

If not, why bother? A Porsche is quicker than a Tesla – and doesn’t need 45 minutes to recharge. A Lexus can go 400 miles on  tank – twice as far as the best case range of the Tesla Model3.

The Tesla touts its ability to accelerate quickly (which it does) but that makes it less efficient – just as a Porsche is less efficient than a Prius.

You can have speed – or economy. If you want both, you’ll get a compromise.

But the Tesla is no middle of the roader. It emphasizes that it’s quicker than most cars, most especially economy cars. Which is like the EBT card holder smacking his lips as he describes how delicious that ribeye you just bought him was.

If the Tesla and other electric cars had to sell on the merits, they’d be much more like the Model T. They’d have to cost less than other cars, not more.

They’d also need to at least equal the practicality of non-electric cars.

This business of $35,000 electric cars that have half the range of $15,000 economy cars and that need five times as long (or much longer) to recharge is preposterous on the face of it.

But it could be made less preposterous if performance were de-emphasized, as it ought to be – and would be, if market forces were allowed to operate. Take away the grotesque subsidization of luxury and speed and the engineers would be working on ways to lighten electric cars (buh-bye cush carpets and leather) and minimize the draw on the batteries – which is the electric car’s weakest link. No heated seats. No power seats. No electric sunroof. No power windows. Electric motors burn electricity, which reduces range. To make up for this, you can install a bigger battery, but that adds weight, which requires more power to get moving . . . you see the problem.

The object of the exercise ought to be reducing consumption – in order to make the electric car economical. But because of the perverse incentives created by government subsidies, the reverse is encouraged.

Result? Expensive toys.

Musk crows about the roughly 400,000 people who’ve put $1,000 down to reserve a $35,000 Model 3. But there are only so many people who can afford to spend Bugatti Type 35 money on a car, electric or otherwise.

What happens when Elon runs out of rich people? Is the government going to subsidize $35k cars for everyone? A Bugatti in every garage – so to speak?

With the weight of Uncle behind him, Musk just might succeed in reversing the course of automotive history. Cars will become what they were before the appearance of the Model T:  Indulgences of the affluent.

The tragedy is we might actually have electric cars that make economic sense – if it weren’t for government subsidizing those that don’t.

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111 COMMENTS

  1. “Ford sold a lot of cars. And without any subsidies.”

    I can’t find a link but I am pretty sure the tour guide at the Auto Museum in Reno NV said cars sold in the US had to be assembled in the US, which meant that US makers and Rolls Royce (Rolls sold only chassis that the buyer had to hire a coach maker to finish.) were the only cars for sale in the US. So again I might have the facts wrong, by I do know that there was never a libertarian past that was lost, the US always had tariffs and what not.

    Book on government intervention:
    The Governmental Habit Redux: Economic Controls from Colonial Times to the Present
    Jonathan R.T. Hughes

    ” there are only so many people who can afford to spend Bugatti Type 35 money on a car, electric or otherwise.”

    Women love that car. No Dealer, No maintenance including pumping gas, which women hate. Actually, I take my car to the dealer and the dealer screws up on so many things I understand why Tesla’s we come to you service pledge is so attractive. My car had a seven-year battery. Did the dealer replace it before seven years, no. If they cannot figure out how old the seven year battery in a seven year old car is think about all the other maintenance issues they screw up. I have had to bring the car back multiple times for things that should have been done during regular maintenance.

    So in short, to the extent women make the buying decision, they will lean heavily on electric cars especially in urban areas. My guess is most of the auto industry profit comes from high-end models, which Tesla will crush if women have anything to say about it. If Tesla sells 500,000 $35000+ cars a year, most of that will come from luxury sales traditional automakers would have sold.

    Your reverse model T theory also misses the point. Tesla is in the battery business, not the car business. Tesla is trying to drive the cost per battery as low as possible just like Ford did with auto parts. That is what Tesla really produces. The most expensive part of electric cars, power walls is the battery. That said the autopilot software is another possible win for Tesla.

    The competition for women comes down to Tesla vs Uber.

  2. HI Eric,
    I enjoyed the little debate you had with DM. It got me thinking of a really good use for a Tesla. Good ‘ol Elon could take one to Mars with him seeing as how an ICE won’t work in the extremely thin and oxygen deficient atmosphere there. He could set up a football field sized solar panel at 25 degrees north latitude to charge it. The only problem is that even at his bragged about cost of $1000 a pound to launch stuff into LEO (low earth orbit) on the Falcon Heavy, it would cost $4,941,000 (4941 pounds times 1000 dollars per pound). And that’s not even including the cost of achieving escape velocity on a trajectory to the Red Planet. It could set an all time record for subsidizing a Tesla. Even I was suprised at how much these darned things weigh.

  3. After reading the comments, I understand Eric’s position better.

    I am also against government subsidies but we should be consistent. We should also be against housing subsidies like the mortgage tax deduction that supports the housing industry and allows rich to own larger homes. There so many other subsidies that should also be removed.

    Charging time and range are issues compared to ICE but if your use case is less than 250 miles per day and a basic 30A dryer outlet charger can recharge to full while you sleep, it really isn’t an issue. I think 95% of the population fits this use case. For the times you need to travel longer distances, you can rent or use a second car. Like most people rent a truck or a van if their car (Yaris or Corolla) is too small. Clover

    Most research has shown that total emissions are less because EV is much more efficient than gasoline. Even when powering EVs with coal plants. As it happens, coal is being replaced by NG because it is much cheaper thanks to fracking. It’ll all emits about 50% less C02 than coal. So an EV keeps getting better from an emissions standpoint as the grid gets cleaner. An ICE car never does.

    Cost is an issue and there is a premium for EV certainly. But like HDTVs and cell phones, costs keep coming down. ICE cars are at the end of cost improvements and the only thing left the industry can do is merge to create economies of scale. Batteries are getting 5-10% cheaper every year and will likely be cheaper than an equivalent ICE in a few years.

    There are no guarantees but I think we’re seeing the death of ICE happen. Why else are all the big manufacturers like GM, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and Audi investing billions in EV technology and planning massive rollouts in a couple of years? Clover

    It’s interesting you label me as a authoritarian when I discovered you on the Tom Woods show. I’m probably more libertarian than you are. At least I’m consistent. I would like the removal of the trillion dollar subsidy that the oil industry gets through free security provide by the DoD.

    • Hi DM,

      I agree that all subsidies are immoral. But the mortgage interest deduction and Tesla aren’t apples-apples. Every homeowner – not just “rich people with large homes” gets the same deduction. And a house (like an IC car) is a thing that’s viable and functional on the merits – unlike the Tesla.

      I understand you disagree. But the fact remains that, absent production mandates and subsidies, EVs (given current technology and economic realities) would not exist except as curiosities and extremely low-volume toys, which is what they fundamentally are.

      “250 miles” range is disingenuous. The car’s range is much less when driven fast, greatly affected by use of accessories (all electrically driven) as well as outside temperature. Then you suggest people rent or own a second car to compensate for the Tesla’s deficiencies. In addition to having bought a high-end electric car. How economical! You obviously have money to burn – which is fine. But you (and Musk) are burning other people’s money, too.

      “Most research.” Cite. And – Jesus Christ! – C02 is not a pollutant. You have bought into the “climate change” malarky. Which of course Musk milks.

      ICE cars “never get cleaner”? They are practically zero emissions at this point. I have mentioned this several times now. It’s a fact. I am using the EPA’s own terminology.

      ” ICE cars are at the end of cost improvements… ” Nonsense. You just pulled this out of your rear. The fact is cars continue to decrease in cost notwithstanding all the government mandates. And were it not for government mandates, we’d have brand-new cars with AC, with fuel-injected and “clean” engines – for less than $10,000. They already have them in other countries.

      And then there’s this:

      “Why else are all the big manufacturers like GM, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and Audi investing billions in EV technology and planning massive rollouts in a couple of years?”

      Because the got-damned government has mandated production quotas!

      In Germany, they are moving to outlaw IC-powered cars and there are already ICE No Go zones in several EU countries. There is no market demand for these things. It is being driven by government demands.

    • Wow, hard to discuss an issue when DM is so ignorant about it. 250 mile range is useless anywhere north of Texas. That 250 mile range drops dramatically when you need heat and defrost, which we do here for 6 months out of the year. Electric cars also have a far greater dust to dust environmental impact than IC cars. Until a new power source is discovered, the electric car should be banned from production.

      • Eric,

        You seem to be pretty emotional about this issue. Makes me wonder where your real motivations are.

        It seems you have a general problem with government. I do as well. I don’t like all the mandates, special favors, and environmental regulations either. I’m far from a greenie.

        I’m glad Trump changed the EPA requirements.

        However, as a technologist, I believe that EVs are a revolutionary change in personal transportation not unlike the smartphone, Internet, or HDTVs.

        This would be the case with or without government subsidies. Of course, it accelerates it but the benefits are undeniable. It will be more apparent over time that ICE cars are obsolete.

        I’ll leave you with this study on ICE vs EV emissions over the life of a car.

        http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions

        • Hi DM,

          You write: “This would be the case with or without government subsidies. Of course, it accelerates it but the benefits are undeniable. It will be more apparent over time that ICE cars are obsolete.”

          How do you know that subsidies “accelerate” progress to what you see as good? Given your often stated views as to the illegitimacy of all subsidies, the above statement is confusing.

          The granting of subsidies is inherently political, not rational or economic. As such, they divert resources toward politically favored industries and technology. This destroys the market mechanism for the rational allocation of resources, it creates an incentive for private investors to stake their returns on rent seeking as opposed to business profitability, all of which hampers innovation and likely delays the emergence of better technology. With subsidies, it becomes impossible to know that the best technologies are being pursued. That knowledge can only be gained through the market mechanism and price signals. Despite your belief that EV technology is the obvious and inevitable path toward a “revolutionary change in personal transportation”, you cannot know this because subsidies crowd out other ideas and direct resources toward a political, not rational, end.

          In addition, subsidies always create special interests that fight like hell to maintain those subsidies, exposing the “infant industry” argument as fallacious. Once entrenched, these interests wield far more political clout than mere citizens, which makes getting rid of them nearly impossible. Just think of the havoc associated with corn subsidies. These subsidies, along wth govco’s unscientific assertions about the danger of fat, have likely contributed greatly to the massive rise in diabetes and obesity. The diversion of corn to ethanol production (due to subsidies and mandates) has driven up world food prices, exacerbating political tensions and adding to human suffering.

          Subsidies empower loathsome, narcissistic con men like Elon Musk, none of whose endeavors would exist absent subsidies which, btw, are not going away. It is true that the individual EV subsidy will end at some point (although, it could be reinstated). But, this represents just a fraction of the plunder he receives. To date, he has acquired nearly 5 billion dollars of stolen loot.

          http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-musk-subsidies-20150531-story.html

          Jonathan uncritically accepts the fallacious idea that subsidies are needed to spur innovation. It seems you should know better.

          Jeremy

    • Ah yes, DM, as we all know, the generation of electricity to charge those wonderful cars, is perfectly “clean” and zero-emissions, and all of that, right? RIGGGGHT?????

      Hey, spew all of pollutants you want out here in the country and never give it another thought, so you can say that your car makes “zero emissions” (at least wherever it happens to be- as long as it’s not in the vicinity of electrical generating facility)- Out of sight…out of mind.

    • I’ve been told time and time again that all tax breaks are good from various libertarian circles. BTW electric cars don’t just get a break on taxes.

      Anyways the home mortgage interest deduction is make things easier for debtors. They want everyone in debt paying a monthly nut to stay afloat. Push everyone into debt. Go ahead and axe that deduction. It would be good for those of us that stay away from debt. Well except for the property we already own. But all of it will go down together and we all have to live somewhere so it’s better for me to upgrade for the prices to be low so long as the differential doesn’t grow.

  4. “His soon-to-be-available Model 3 will list for $35,000 to start – the equivalent of $472,073 in 1926 dollars. ”

    Eric, I fully support your view on this, but I’m not getting your numbers. I think you have the years reversed. 35,000 in 2017 dollars is $2,594.93 in 1926 dollars.

  5. Elon Musk can just EABODADIAF. He is King of the Government Subsidy. Solar City is as big a rip-off of the taxpayer as is Tesla.

    • The most aggravating thing about him is the media adulation. And what has he accomplished? He’s a rent-seeking flim-flam man. Lots of glitz – all bankrolled by the government, one way or another.

      • I am all for companies like the Tesla and the subsidies do not bother me. We are running out of fossil fuel every single day by millions of barrels. Eric may not care about the future but I do. To start development of fossil fuel replacements after we are having severe shortages is stupid.

        • Jonathan,

          What is the basis for your belief that “we are running out of fossil fuel”? Have you not noticed that gas prices are lower now than they have been in years – and, when adjusted for inflation, are lower than they were 50 years ago?

          Your are “all for” Tesla and the subsidies “do not bother me.”

          Ok, what if I said I am “all for” taking your money to subsidize something that “does not bother me”?

          I suppose you approve of theft and violence, so long as it’s done by others on your behalf.

          • So Eric you say that since gas price is now cheap that there are no oil wells going dry now or ever? I can not talk to a stupid person. How many kids do you have? Do you want the shit to hit the fan when they get older or is it all about you and nothing else matters? Eric if you can come up with a solution to our long term energy needs then I will gladly give you a subsidy. I will gladly let you give me violence if you are going to fix everything in the future. I am not a self centered jerk like others here.

            • There are also oil wells that were dry that have now begun to fill back up. How does this happen? Researchers/scientists have also found oil at depths that it would be impossible for it to have come from decomposition of biological material, i.e. fossils.

              The idea that oil comes from biological material is just a theory. But it is taken as fact. Look into abiotic oil theory and also check out Thomas Gold’s book “The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels”.

              And since you’re not a self-centered jerk like the rest of us here, please send Eric a donation for this wonderful site & then buy several copies of the book I mentioned and give them to friends/family/co-workers/acquaintances/etc.

              • c_dub250 thanks for showing me how stupid people can be. Where do you get that crap you spew out? Pure stupidity. When you find out what oil is and where it comes from then let us know. I guess you feel brighter than thousands of the best scientists.Clover

                • Jonathan,

                  Spewing insults isn’t an argument. c_dub made a number of valid points; how about responding to them with facts and reason?

                  How do you account for the fact that oil/gas prices are low, if scarcity is imminent? Does that make sense to you? Can you give an example of any other commodity that is in high demand but low in supply that costs less as time passes?

                  You assume that “non renewable” means “we’re running out.” But supply is probably – almost certainly – much greater than most people realize. In fact, OPEC (and the U.S.) do their best to artificially limit supply, in order to prop up prices at artificially high levels. Even so, when you take out taxes and regulatory costs, gasoline costs just over $1 per gallon. If you’re interested in learning something, plug that into an inflation calculator and see what $1 in today’s money bought in 1955.

                  How do you account for the fact that oil has been discovered at incredible (30,000 feet) depths?

                  What if hydrocarbons are produced abiotically?

                  It’s a fact that hydrocarbons can be produced abiotically. There are seas of methane on Saturn’s s moon, Titan. No dinosaurs or algae blooms there, one assumes.

                  What if similar processes are operative on earth?

                  • If you want to believe a crackpot that writes a book that was even plagiarized from another crackpot then I can not stop stupidity. If oil was so plentiful then we would not need to be getting it from the ocean and Alaska. It is worthless arguing with you though when facts do not matter. I will find another place where facts matter. Good luck with all the lies.Clover

                    • Clover,

                      You haven’t responded to any of the substantive, factual points made – in particular, my query to you about oil/gas costing less rather than more, which ought not to be the case if supply is dwindling.

                      The market signals – prices – indicate there is plenty of oil. How, exactly, is that a “crackpot” idea? Can you present a counter-argument? Or are insults all you’ve got?

                  • The fact is that the oil supply is being reduced daily. It does not matter how you say it was initially produced. Name one expert that says that oil is being created in any significant quantity today? The price of oil has nothing to do with the world’s long term oil supply. The price of oil is determined by how much it costs to extract the oil today and not what it would cost 25 or 50 years from now. If you have a glass full of a thick milkshake and you are having a problem drinking it with your straw and you get a larger straw then you can extract the milkshake easier but it just runs out of the glass at a faster rate. Eventually it will be gone. The same thing is happening with oil today.Clover

                    • Jonathan,

                      No one is denying that “the oil supply is being reduced daily.” The question is: How large is the supply? It appears to be very large – based on the fact that prices are low. I asked you to give me an example – just one! – of a product that is in short supply for which demand is high but which is not becoming more expensive.

                      No answer.

                      You state: “The price of oil has nothing to do with the world’s long term oil supply.”

                      Well, it certainly indicates that there is a large supply – else (logically) prices would be going up in anticipation of imminent shortages. As to what prices will be in 25 to 50 years… no one knows! Not me – not you, either.

                      No one can say with certainty what the price of anything will be in the future.

                      Yes, eventually (probably, but not necessarily) the supply of oil will dwindle to the point that scarcity will cause prices to rise.

                      But that may not be for hundreds of years. The “Peak Oil” hysteria – and it is just that – said we’d be running dry 20 years ago. That didn’t happen – and there is no evidence it is likely to happen anytime soon.

                      It seems you are eager for the supply to run low and for prices to rise.

                      But, regardless, what is wrong with letting market forces settle this?

                      Now, I’m going to o fire up my V8 muscle car and help get rid of some of the excess supply of petroleum…

                    • I haven’t checked recently but oil that is becoming accessible exceeded consumption. As the market dictates more oil comes to market or exploration/innovation slows when prices are low. It’s been that way since we first told the oil was running out in the 19th century.

                    • Eric the oil supply will not last hundreds of years if used at the present rate. Every expert would agree with that statement. Again you do not understand, the price of oil today is determined by how much it costs to extract that oil today. If there was oil in large quantities all over then you would be pumping oil in your back yard. You can not deny that oil wells are going dry daily. Eventually there will be severe shortages unless we come up with another power source or start using a lot less. We would have severe shortages today if the average fuel efficiency did not double or even triple from 40 years ago. My car today gets 3 times the gas mileage I used to get.Clover

                    • Clover,

                      Do you understand the difference between a fact and an opinion?

                      This:

                      “Eric the oil supply will not last hundreds of years if used at the present rate.”

                      Is your opinion, nothing more. Absent facts to support it, it’s worth as much as Enron stock. The fact, Clover, is that “Peak Oil” believers were saying – back in the ’60s – that the supply would run out by 1980s. Whoops. New supplies were found. New technologies made it possible to recover oil in new places. That supplies are finite does not mean we’ve come close to exhausting them.

                      You have no idea how much total oil there is; no one knows what may be possible tomorrow as far as getting it.

                      Those, Clover, are facts.

                      Your asserting “Every expert would agree with that statement” is nothing more than an appeal to some vague Authority – and also false on the face of it, since there are “experts” who do not agree with that statement.

                      And, again: You continue to dodge the problem (for your position) of prices being low, despite high and growing demand. If it were known that supplies were going to be scarce in the near-term future, only an imbecile would sell such dwindling supplies at lower prices. If you possessed a desirable commodity and you knew you only had “x” quantity and could not refresh your supply, would you sell it for a lower or a higher price? Would you be inclined to hoard it? Or sell it the lowest bidder?

                      The problem – for you – is that all indications are there is ample supply – to meet current and future demand.

                      Whether a given well is running dry is a non sequitur. What matters, Clover, is the aggregate supply. Let me put it in terms even a Clover ought to be able to grok. If the stack of wood I have out front is running low – but I have another stack in the back – and I know I have acres of wood I can split this coming summer – then the fact that the stack in the front is running out doesn’t worry me because I still have plenty of wood.

                      God, my teeth ache…

                      Just for you, Clover, I am going to go “waste” some gas today. I bought it, so it’s my right to do it. Maybe I’ll just pour a gallon or ten in the fire pit and roast some burgers….

                    • Jonathan,

                      Subsidies, mandates, etc… (economic intervention) direct resources and research along politically favored lines. Intervention distorts prices, which remain the only mechanism that allows for the rational allocation of resources. Intervention creates entrenched special interest groups who fight like hell to maintain the artificial advantage created by the intervention. Intervention stifles innovation because it directs resources along political lines and because it encourages regulatory capture by industry insiders who have an incentive to block competition from “upstarts”.

                      You once justified your support of intervention by claiming that it doesn’t make sense to wait until we are running out of oil to look for alternatives. No, what doesn’t make sense is to pervert the process of discovery by deciding, in advance, what technologies should be pursued, and then hampering alternative innovation with subsidies.

                      I believe that your environmental concerns are sincere. However, the policies you support are likely to retard sustainable technologies. What is certain is that the interventions you endorse make it impossible to know which technologies are genuinely valuable and sustainable and which are merely the product of crony-capitalist rent seeking.

                      Jeremy

                    • I am out of here. It is impossible to debate someone where facts do not matter and that you have no business knowledge. There is not a company that I can think of that would wait 50 years for their oil field to begin paying out. For one thing they usually have the expense of the acquisition. A company would go broke waiting 50 years. I would not make an investment that will only start paying out after 50 years. I can not deal with stupidity shown here. The main reason that oil is cheap is that some companies need to keep pumping even at the smallest profits so they can pay their bills.Clover

                    • Clover,

                      You can’t even construct a grammatically correct sentence – ” It is impossible to debate someone where facts do not matter and that you have no business knowledge ” – let alone a fact-based argument!

                      I’ve noticed this is typical of Clovers. Their thinking is disorganized and emotive – and so is their writing (such as it is).

                      You feel… you believe

                      Not once have you responded to a single fact presented. Nor directly answered a specific question.

                      I’d love to know how you know what the supply of oil within the Earth is. How you know we’re on the verge of or even within sight of running out…

                      But you feel that we are…

                      It’s very clear you’re desire is that “alternatives” be subsidized, because you prefer them. That is the truth of it. But you can’t or won’t admit this, so you trot out canards about the necessity of it.

                      But there are no facts to support this.

                      And so you are “out of here.”

                      Bon voyage, Clover!

            • The premise of peak oil is based on extraction costs. The problem is that technology has a higher rate of making oil accessible than what is going ‘dry’. So prices go down.

              There are vast amounts of presently economically unaccessible oil. If those come to market oil can fall further.

              Oil wars are fought over keeping oil off the market as much as controlling it.

              Anyway it’s much like this twilight zone episode:
              http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0734674/

              Well rather just the ending.

          • The basis for his belief may be the article that I also read in Popular Science magazine which provided facts and figures supporting the projection that we’ll likely be out of oil in the near future.

            That article was published in 1957.

            Yes, oil is a finite resource, but it is a vast one. By the time we are actually in any danger of running out we either will no longer need it due to the normal course of scientific progress (no coercive “subsidies” needed), or we will be able to manufacture it out of other substances.

            • I am sorry Jason, but you do not know that. It is possible the earth is quite capable of making oil and water abiotically.

              • Yes, I do know it. We already know how to make gasoline from coal, for example, and from a technical standpoint have been able to do so for decades. It’s just a matter of developing the technology to the point where it is economically feasible versus pumping black gold/Texas tea out of the ground to make fuel.

                The jury is out as to whether new oil is being produced by natural abiotic processes.

        • Hey Jonathan, I’ve got a couple problems with what you say. First off, I don’t agree with you that we will run out of fossil-fuel anytime soon. But I’ll ignore that.
          Pretty much every tax payer in this country has a car that he or she had to buy. Why should that person be forced without being given the option, to pay for other people’s cars – and not just another poor person, but another person who can afford a car that (usually) nicer than the car they have? If the government is going to subsidize electric cars, let it be an option that tax payers agree to subsidize before taxing us for it.
          I think if tax payer money were to be used in a responsible way, scientists should be looking for a fuel alternative. not subsidizing select models of a select type of car for rich people.

          • Great Idea, it can be a charity setup for people to buy EV. If you feel strongly that they should be on the roads then give it some bucks. They can dole it out by lottery or something.

            The thing is NO ONE would donate to such a charity because it is ridiculous!!

  6. Tesla’s launch of the Model 3 might run into some rough waters — the rise of sub-prime auto loans means that the banks are tightening their credit-worthiness requirements on new car loans. The buyers of the Model 3 likely aren’t the well-heeled Model S customers who could pay cash – they’re going to want loans. And tight credit will likely mean not all of those 400,000 pre-paid customers are going to follow-through on a purchase.

    • Hi Chip,

      Yup. Also, when the rubber hits the road and people discover that the real-world range and the advertised range are two very different things…

        • In a TDI VW, you get more… but Clovers killed them.

          Also: While it’s true mileage varies according to driving habits, etc., IC cars’ mileage (range) is not affected as dramatically (negatively) as an EV’s range.

          And – again – you can refuel to 100 percent in less than 5 minutes… vs. 80 percent charge in 45 minutes to several hours.

          My teeth ache…

          • What is this fascination with refueling times? That is only an issue on long trips. I will grant you that. For 95% of commutes, overnight charging is sufficient. EVs are not meant to replace every use case. It is optimized for commutes of less than 250 miles round trip. Even in the most extreme case, that can be recharged to full overnight while you sleep. I think EVs can replace millions of ICE vehicles for that percent of the population that fits that example. Which is 95% of the drivers.Clover

            I don’t pretend it will replace trucks, busses, etc.

            • I am “fascinated” by facts…

              And it is not only an issue on long trips. Again, you are being disingenuous. You know as well as I that the real-world range of your Tesla is less than 200 miles – a lot less, if driven at all fast or hard (which kind of defeats the point of having all that “performance,” eh?)

              And even if we assume 250 miles – that’s a real problem for people who need a car for more than commutes. Most people I know like to take road trips. But they can’t, if it’s a Tesla. Or, they do it in “legs” – waiting interminably to recover charge every 200 miles or so.

              Your solution? Buy a second car or rent one for other-than-commutes…

              And they ask me why I drink.

              • When I take road trips I go with my family. I don’t think I would be taking a Yaris or Corolla on a long trip with 4-5 people either. When I need to haul something, I don’t expect a Yaris or Corolla will do that either. In those unique cases, I rent a car or truck.Clover

                You know nothing about real world driving in an EV. Extreme heat or cold may mean a max 20% range loss but no more. Tesla’s offer range from 200 to over 300 miles depending on your needs. If you’re commute is about as long 150 miles round trip (the vast majority of commutes), any Tesla (or even GM Bolt EV) will meet your needs regardless of temperature or driving habits.

                And can easily be charged to full overnight to begin the next day’s journey.Clover

                All while lowering the cost per mile and avoiding any stops at a gas station.

                • A Camry is as or more roomy – and costs easily $15k less than the Model 3 and a third the cost of a Model S. And goes 400 miles on a tank.

                  Actually, I know a lot about EV range – having driven every single EV made since the ’90s-era GM Impact. Can you say the same? I assure you that, driven faster than 70 MPH, in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, an EV’s range plummets like Enron stock. Now, if you putter around in it like a Clover, you can eke out much more range… but then why bother with all that performance capability you don’t use?

                  Wouldn’t a 45 MPG and $15k economy car make more sense?

                  “Easily charged overnight” …vs. refueled in less than 5 minutes, no overnight wait.

                  And: Who cares about the cost per mile when the cost of the car is as high as the cost of the Tesla?

                  It is economic imbecility.

                  If you are sweating the cost of car ownership/driving, you don’t buy a $70,000 car – electric or otherwise!

                  Or a $35k car.

                  You are trying to justify your indulgence… which is fine except for the part about expecting other people to pay for it!

                  • You have a valid point about the cost of the vehicle. But it’s like defending analog TVs when digital TVs first came out. Over time, digital TVs became less expensive. That will happen to EVs in a few years.
                    Clover
                    As for range, I have never seen more than a 20% loss even in the hottest 110 degree days or the coldest 20 degree winters. I’ve been driving this car for 60K miles and almost 5 years now. With zero maintenance by the way, save wipers and tires.Clover

                    In my opinion, I prefer to plug in when I get home and have a full charge after 6 hours when I wake than even spending 5 minutes at a gas station.

                    I think many will think this way.

                    • Achh…

                      But TeeVees were viable on the merits and never subsidized… and neither should EVs. The subsidies have resulted in economic absurdities like the Tesla rather than an inexpensive, light and efficient electric car.

                    • “Zero maintenance” … until you have to spend a few thousand dollars on a new battery… which is the EV equivalent of having to put a new engine in the car…

            • In DM’s defense I think that the range is not as much of a problem for many people. My commute is only 10 miles round trip and I’ll say other than a vacation trip maybe once a year, I never drive close to 200 miles. I see people rent Uhaul pickups all the time so clearly people already do that.
              I think electric cars might be great some day. The only problem I have with them is the government pushing them on us. Let them stand on their own, people will either buy them or they won’t. In my case I won’t be buying. I don’t buy anything new, I need a cheap used car that will last a long time. Electric doesn’t seem to be that.

              Perhaps the efforts would be better placed in compressed natural gas and a delivery/exchange system.

              • 10 miles round trip? Used Nissan Leafs are going for $5-10K right now and have about 60 miles of usable range. Not great but that was a first generation EV.Clover

                  • That is the first generation Leaf which had a very bad design. Range loss was very bad and Nissan has been giving them away with the next generation coming out next year.

                    Teslas have held up their values over the years because range loss has been very slight. In my case, 5% loss in 5 years and 60K miles.

                    You have a very emotional approach to this topic.

                    Reminds me of my favorite Upton Sinclair quote:

                    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

                    I enjoyed this conversation with you Eric. I will continue to read your blog and listen to you on Tom Woods.

                    Time to get back to work!

                    • Why do you keep referencing “emotions”? It’s a piss poor substitute for factual counter arguments.

                      They’ll give away the new Leaf, too.

                      Just as VW will give away the eGolf.

                      None of these things can stand on the merits, as cars.

                      They are economically absurd and functionally ridiculous. They are toys.

                      And Elon Musk is a loathsome frog-faced rent-seeker.

                    • With EVs, there is always an excuse… it’s “first generation,” a “breakthrough” in battery design is “just around the corner…” the cost will “go down”soon… yet never does.

                      You’ve been very evasive and disingenuous.

                      Again, I don’t have a problem, per se, with EVs. Or with any type of car. I do have a problem with affluent people expecting their indulgences to be subsidized.

                      You obviously love your Tesla. Great! I love my Trans-Am, too.

                      But I am not using the force of the government to compel anyone to help finance my indulgence. And that is where we disagree, as a matter or moral principle.

                      PS: What in the world makes you suppose my salary depends on any of this?

                      FYI: I don’t have a salary. I am self-employed. And not in the pay of the car industry, IC or EV.

  7. Tesla recently surpassed Ford’s market cap in the stock market. There is 0 logic to this company as a stock. It very much reminds me of what was defined as “irrational exuberance” in the early ’00s. When it market corrects, it’s going to drown a lot of investors.

    • Hi Dr. Otto,

      I’m not surprised. With so much government “help” propping up the company, so much media hype propelling it, the appearance of success is easy enough to achieve.

      But – unless Americans start earning a lot more money in order to be able to afford cars that cost a minimum of $35,000 each (keeping in mind the real price is much higher; these are being given away) I don’t see how these can ever be mass market cars. And imagine the mess of hundreds of thousands of them backed up at charging stations, waiting for 45 minutes each to get going again…

        • The difference is that the IC cars sold by GM and Ford are fundamentally viable (economically and functionally) and such cars would exist absent subsidies.

          The Tesla and other EVs would not.

          The Model 3’s cost – even subsidized – is still pushing $40k. That is economically demented, given one can buy a well-equipped Corolla for $18k. The Tesla is quicker and flashier, but as an economic proposition, it’s ludicrous. And functionally, too. The Corolla goes 400 miles under any conditions and can be refueled to 100 percent in 5 minutes. The Tesla takes at least 45 minutes to recover 80 percent charge and then maybe can go another 200 miles. Assuming you gimp along at low speed and it’s not too hot or cold out and so you can go without the heater or the AC.

            • If the criteria is economy, certainly.

              You continue to miss the point. If the Tesla is not economical, then it is an indulgence – like any other performance or luxury car. Why should anyone be made to subsidize that?

              I don’t object to the BMW or the Audi because the people buying them are doing so with their own money and the manufacturers are making an honest profit.

              Unlike the Tesla.

                • Yes, of course they are.

                  You are buying status, luxury and performance. Indulgences. Nothing wrong with that, provided it’s you who is paying for it.

                  Otherwise, why not “help” me buy a new Corvette? It gets better mileage than my Trans-Am….

                • I will stop criticizing Tesla and EVs generally when they are not subsidized and when the government stops mandating their manufacture.

                  Tesla has yet to sell a single car. Each one is given away at a net loss. Musk makes his money via the carbon credit con and other subsidies and rent-seeking.

                  The whole thing is ridiculous.

                  If an EV isn’t less expensive to own/operate than an IC car and has significant functional impairments that IC cars don’t have…why buy one?

                  The only reason is Green Preening. Look at me! I loves da Earf! I drive an Earf Friendly car! But I also have my performance and my luxury, too. And the government helps me afford it!

                  God, my teeth hurt today…

        • Guess which car is the only car they don’t send me to review… ?

          It’s the electric car. Any of them. Know why? The press pool is located 240 miles away – and the things can’t make it here in one day on their own steam. They have to be flatbedded here.

            • I’ve had a few plug-in hybrids to test drive; I plug them into the garage outlet (120V, 15A). Takes hours to recover charge and I wonder what the cost is (hard to isolate on the utility bill). It may not a big hassle for people like DM, who (apparently) don’t drive very far and don’t mind 6 hour recharge times. But it would be absurd for someone such as myself.

              Also, you know the range of these things craters when it’s 20 degrees out and you need to run the heater and burn headlights constantly. Or 95 – and you’re running AC.

              But, regardless, when you are talking about a car with a $35k base price, you are talking about an indulgence; to tout the “eMPG” or whatever DM was touting is as ridiculous as touting how the diet soda you’re using to wash down your triple Thickburger is “low calorie.”

              • My commute is 55 miles each way. My EV works perfectly for that and I think it would work well for 90% of the commutes that people have.

                I wake up to a full charge so I save time driving to a gas station. I used my existing 30A dryer outlet so it cost me nothing to set up. And it takes about 6 hours to charge.

                I have it set up to start at 11pm where electric rates drop to 10 cents a kwh which allows me to drive 200 miles for about $6. That’s less than half of the $12 a Prius at 50 mpg would cost to drive 200 miles at $3 per gallon of fuel.

                • Hi DM,

                  You beg the question: If your Tesla is such a fantastic car that makes so much sense, then why does Musk need massive, multi-layered subsidies to remain in business?

                  In re the Prius: Yes, but the Prius costs $11k less to buy. How much gas – or electricity – would that buy?

                  Now compare the cost to own/operate differential vs. a Corolla or similar, which costs $15-$20k less than your Tesla 3*

                  I fail to see the economic case for the Tesla. Which brings us back to it being an indulgence, like any other luxury/performance car.

                  * Since the Tesla 3 isn’t out yet I assume you have an S… base price $70,000 – which is even more obnoxious/economically preposterous.

                  • There was no economic sense for my BMW 5 that I traded in either. But in comparison, the Tesla was much better in every respect. I haven’t been in the market for a Corolla class car in 20 years!

                    • Certainly – and that’s just the point.

                      Musk is selling an indulgence – which isn’t the problem. I don’t object to large, fancy houses with Viking appliances in the kitchen, either. Indulgence is cool.

                      Provided the person buying the house isn’t using the government to “help” him buy the thing!

                    • You actually BOUGHT one of those pieces of junk? For all of us, you’re welcome for the subsidy tax feeder and thief!

  8. This was a “ponder a bit” article.
    First a caveat, the Tesla ain’t a car. It’s a “product” marketed to a certain demographic. It’s a creature with a odd parents.
    Looking at the state of the IC engine in 1909 and Lithium-ion batteries when Tesla started is not a totally fair comparison. The IC was relatively mature as a production item by 1909. Technologies to produce it were fairly well known.
    If, we eliminate mandated safety equipment, crash structure along with the electric appliances in the cabin, how much less would it weigh? And, how much less would it cost? Keeping the same batteries, how much more range?
    All irrelevant since the car is marketed to sybarites who can afford to make a statement. Your readers ain’t the target market, irrespective of their income. Why? Cause they ain’t buying what Tesla is sellin’.

    • “they ain’t buying what Tesla is sellin’.” But nobody’s buying what Tesla is selling w/o help from Uncle. And not just a little.

    • Hi JC,

      I have no beef with the Tesla or any electric car – as such. Just as I have no beef with Porsche or Lamborghini. Or, for that matter, Yugo (if they were still selling those).

      My beef is with the rent-seeking. Tesla is not economically viable; the cars can’t be sold on the merits at a price sufficient to cover their cost to manufacture, plus an adequate profit. So they are subsidized. And as bad as that is, what’s being subsidized is not a “people’s car” but a rich man’s toy.

  9. Hi Eric, I’m new to your blog and I’ve found it fascinating. I agree with you on pretty much all your posts, including having a dislike for Teslas, especially the fact that they are subsidized.
    I use bitcoin and cash, I don’t have a bank account.
    I’m curious what you would think of my car, however. Using bitcoin I bought all the parts to transform my 1984 Austin Mini into electric. It has a 120 mile range which is perfect for the city, and charges in 5 hours.
    Unlike the Tesla, I don’t waste electricity – wind up windows, LED lights, no air conditioning.
    Range and charging is an issue, however I have a regular car (that I also take to the track) when I need it.

    • I am not Eric; but I love it Anchoright because it was a DIY project. I have considered doing the same thing in the past, but a dark financial cloud seems to be preventing myself from getting ahead no matter how intelligent I am or how hard I try. I also like the fact that you used bitcoin and cash. I sure do wish that I would have bought bitcoin back when it was cheap. I am considering getting on the bipcoin bandwagon in the hopes that it likewise becomes successful. It is, after all, a non-traceable digital currency unlike bitcoin.

    • Hi Anchor,

      Welcome – and thanks for the kind words!

      On your project – I dig it. My beef is not with electric cars or any kind of car, as such. I think electric cars can fill a need – or, hell, a want (just like my Trans Am does). My beef is with rent-seeking, subsidies and crony capitalism.

      I like your idea a lot. It is what I’d do, if I decided to build an electric car. Like you, I’d start with something light and small – in order to improve the efficiency of the package. This is probably how electric cars would be made today, if it weren’t for the perverse incentives that have given us cars such as the Tesla, which emphasize performance and style rather than efficiency and low cost.

  10. Credit. That’s what people are supposed to use. Put themselves in hock. Debt serfs, property of the company town.

    Live without credit, you’re a enemy of the state.

    • Morning, Brent –

      I dread the outlawing of cash, which I expect is going to happen within five years, ten at the most. I have credit cards but I rarely use them. I allot myself a certain sum of cash each month to live on – it is extremely helpful as far as avoiding living beyond one’s means. I go into the supermarket with, say, $60 in cash and I therefore do not spend more than $60.

      But I am one of the very few who still does this. You probably are another. I get funny looks from people sometimes. I bet you do, too.

      • Getting rid of cash is one of their ultimate goals certainly. Do away with cash and you do away with freedom and privacy and the ability to at least partially escape the plantation. I still use cash for everything possible and have not applied for credit of any kind for decades. Credit rating? Don’t know and don’t care.

        People frequently look at me like I’m nuts when I pull out bills instead of a plastic card or, these days, a smart phone. (Maybe a chip in the palm coming soon.) Not only at the supermarket or the parts store, but especially for larger purchases such as a set of tires or an appliance. I’ve even had instances where the “cashier” has had to call someone for help because they didn’t know how to process a cash transaction!

        Young people in particular know no other way, but I’ve seen older folks as well seduced by “convenience” and “they give me cash (sic) back!” Meanwhile their entire lives are laid bare and logged into databases to be mined by government and big business. Every penny is tracked and accounted for. (“But I have nothing to hide!” they bleat.)

        I’ve been hoping I’ll be gone by the time the worst of it hits but our esteemed public servants are steamrolling bigtime to chain us to down at this point.

        But of course we live in a “democracy” and all we have to do is vote the right people in…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlcngdW2Ju4

        • ZIRP is the reason people are stuck going for the cash back. Just to get some interest at the local credit union it’s use the debit card 12 times a month. Everything is some screwy game instead of just paying interest.

  11. Eric,

    I agree with your thoughts about the Tesla. If the object is to save money, then the Tesla does poorly in that respect. Even if I was given a Telsa by a “rich Uncle” with no strings, I would still have issues with its operation.
    • Its range on a single charge is about 200 miles under ideal conditions.
    — I can get about 350-400 mile range with most ICE vehicles and not just under ideal conditions.
    • In a Tesla, under ideal conditions, I need at least 40 minutes to get to about 80% full charge
    — I can refill most ICE vehicles in about 5 minutes.

    One thing I am not sure I understand:
    His soon-to-be-available Model 3 will list for $35,000 to start – the equivalent of $472,073 in 1926 dollars.
    Did you accidentally switch the years?

    Using the same site I get:
    $35,000.00 in 2017 had the same buying power as $2,594.93 in 1926

    Annual inflation over this period was about 2.90%

    • 35k in actual dollars in 1926 would be about 475k today, that is correct, but the model T cost only 265 bucks. Adjusted strictly for inflation, that 265 would be about 3500 hundred today. If translated back to 1926, the Tesla would have cost about $2500, so after adjusting for inflation, the Tesla is still about 10 times more expensive than a model T.

    • Hi Mith,

      Yup.

      What, exactly, does the Tesla do that’s superior to an IC car?

      It’s quicker? Only vs. cars that cost much less. And if you use the Tesla’s quickness, the range plummets dramatically. While it’s true an IC car’s mileage will go down if you run it hard, the IC car’s range is not affected as dramatically – and regardless, it can be refueled anywhere to 100 percent in less than five minutes while the Tesla’s best case is about 80 percent charge after 45 minutes, if you can find a “supercharger.” If not, it’s hours.

      It’s obviously not more economical. No need to elaborate.

      It’s “cleaner”? Debatable. In the first place, most new cars are – by the EPA’s own standards – “partial zero emissions” (PZEV) so even if we take at face value that the Tesla or electric cars generally are “zero emissions” we are not talking a big difference in real terms. In the second, while the Tesla/electric cars may not produce any tailpipe exhaust emissions, it is disingenuous to not count the emissions issuing from coal and oil-fired utility plants, including the vast quantities of C02 that “zero emissions” proponents wax unhappy about.

      So – what’s the upside, exactly?

      Buy a Tesla or other such EV and you’re paying a price premium to drive a car that can’t go as far as an otherwise similar IC car and which takes much longer to recover its ability to go anywhere; a car that performs well – but which is performance limited by the affect of using the performance on the batteries. A car that isn’t economical to buy – and so, isn’t economical to own.

      Sum: The Tesla and EVs generally are ego trips. They are no different than a Porsche or other such. They are bought for emotional/status reasons. Which is fine.

      But using the government to force people to subsidize that is beyond obnoxious.

      • It is more economical in every way. The Tesla Model S gets 100 mpg(e) which is 3-4 times better than the average ICE car. In addition, it requires no oil changes, tuneups, or any other maintenance that an ICE car does. It is as clean as the grid which could be solar, NG, or in the worst case, coal. Even then, it is still cleaner than an ICE car. It is quicker than any other production car made, including cars that are 4 times more expensive like a Ferrari or Bugatti. There has been a premium for the last 5 years but the Model 3 starts at $35K which is about the same as an Audi A4 or a BMW 3 Series.Clover

        • DM,

          It’s “economical” to spend $35k on a car? You “save on gas,” sure… but you spent a fortune to do so. It’s fatuous to talk about the “economy” of a $35k car.

          No tuneups etc. True. But what about the several thousand dollars you’ll have to eventually spend to replace the battery?

          “Cleaner” – debatable. Modern IC cars emit almost no harmful pollution; electric plants emit a lot of it.

          Quicker – yes. But if you use it, the range plummets.

          No mention of the absurd recharge times.

          • The average cost of a car in the US is over $30K. A Prius Prime is $30k.Clover

            ICE emits plenty of noxious gas. Try keeping the most efficient ICE on in a closed garage. Not too clean huh?

            Batteries are warranteed for 10 years. Longer than people keep most cars.

            Who cares how long charging takes when it’s fully charged when I wake up?

                • That’s where smart meters and the home area network come in to play. They can command what gets power and what does not. There is even a method to determine what old things you are running by using back EMF measured by the smart meter. But the meter can’t turn them off. They just know you’re not compliant with their edicts.

                  All these advertised and engineering paper capabilities of small meters are of course “conspiracy theories” that only kooky people believe. Well kooky people and those who read the technical materials. Occasionally there will be a promise not to use the capabilities. Like that is going to last long term. They’ll just ease people into it or give them a good shock to get them on board with it.

            • Hi DM,

              No, that’s wrong. You are confusing sale price with list price.

              I just finished reviewing the Toyota Yaris iA. It lists for just over $15k. One can buy it for less, but regardless – it is is superior in every way as a means of getting from A to B to the Tesla, except for speed and “gadgets.” Why should I or anyone else be forced to subsidize either thing?

              Why not subsidize Porsches?

              There are many cars available for around that price. A Camry’s base price is $23k. It goes 400 miles on a tank and can be refueled in less than 5 minutes. Its range is not appreciably affected by use of the heater or AC and even if you drive the snot out of it, you can still drive it much farther than a Tesla and refuel it in less than 5 minutes. It will probably last for 15-20 years and several hundred thousand miles without a major repair necessary.

              Emissions: You statement is fatuous. Even the EPA categorizes most new ICE cars as partial zero emissions (PZEV). Yes, if you run one in an enclosed garage, eventually, it will kill you. But if you did the same at the top of a utility plant smokestack, you’d croak much sooner.

              Batteries: So, your solution to avoiding a several thousand dollar expense when the battery needs to be replaced is to replace the car – which costs $35,000. You make my point for me. The Tesla is not economical. It is a performance car, a luxury car. A “green” toy. That’s fine, provided you’re paying for it. Musk makes the rest of us pay for it.

              Most people, I expect, will care very much about how long it takes to charge. Do you seriously believe that most people are going to accept waiting a minimum of 45 minutes to recover 80 percent charge after traveling a best-case 200-ish miles?

              And that assumes a fast charger, no one else there.

              Imagine the lines.

              • “Musk makes the rest of us pay for it.”
                One slight correction, Eric. Musk doesn’t make anyone pay for it. That’s the gunvermin’s part of the equation. Musk may have begged, cajoled and finagled the gunvermin, but he didn’t force them.

              • I have never charged at a public charger and waited 45 minutes. I charge when I’m sleeping every night. It takes 6 hours but that’s how long I sleep. I wake up to a full charge and never have to visit a gas station ever again.Clover

                • Hi DM,

                  That works for you; it would be an issue for many people. Hours to recharge… vs. minutes to refuel.

                  But ultimately, it’s not the issue. The issue is – these cars are massively subsidized indulgences for the affluent. Bad enough that any car is subsidized. But it’s beyond obnoxious that luxury-performance cars (whether electric or otherwise) are subsidized.

                  I have no problem with Teslas or any other electric cars being built – or bought. Just not on my nickel.

                  • All manufacturers enjoy the same subsidies. By early next year, Tesla will have expired their subsidies and will sell cars at the full price. GM and Ford and others will still get the subsidy. Will you change your tune then?Clover

        • It most certainly is NOT cleaner. Have you not bothered to look into the dust to dust environmental impact of electric vs IC? No, of course you haven’t.

  12. Despite cheap, practical, non-subsidized cars we had multiple major wars. Hopefully the reverse is true, but unfortunately not …

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